No matter where or when you fish, there’s a Scatter Rap right for the occasion. Cast or trolled, Scatter Raps in several shapes and sizes have produced everything from Midwest walleye and pike, to Texas largemouth and white bass, to Florida speckled sea trout, to California lake trout and largemouth, and smallmouth bass across the country.
“It’s truly an amazing, amazing bait,” says legendary angler Al Lindner, who’s caught countless North County walleye, bass and pike on multiple models of Scatter Raps. “It catches all kind of fish.”
Built on classic Rapala body shapes, Scatter Raps resemble baits already in your tackle box. But what makes Scatter Raps “revolutionary,” Lindner says, are their curved Scatter Lips. That lip shape creates a “built-in triggering mechanism” that’s effective on multiple species in many conditions.
Featuring what’s best described as “evasive action,” a Scatter Rap mimics a spooked baitfish fleeing a predator, moving unpredictably from one side to the next, back to center, and then kicking out to one side again. That built-in ability to change directions is what makes Scatter Raps so deadly, Lindner says. And to catch fish with a Scatter Rap, he adds, no elaborate rod-tip maneuvers, wrist motions or jigging strokes are necessary. “You don’t have to do anything but reel,” he says.
Lindner Media producer and on-camera personality Jeremy Smith is a Scatter Rap believer too. “Pike love eating this thing, smallmouth love eating them,” he says. “If you’ve got the bait wet, just about anything that swims will eat it.”
Following are Lindner and Smith’s tips for how, when and where to use some of their favorite Scatter Raps:
Scatter Rap® Shad
Scatter Rap Shads pair a Scatter Lip with the inimitable balsa buoyancy and baitfish body of a Shad Rap — the best multi-species, all-season crankbait of all time.
“Of all of the shapes in hard baits that are available to us, the shad shape is probably one of the most productive shapes there is,” Lindner says. “This shape bait catches all kind of fish all over the country. You add the Scatter Lip idea for that lip design, and that bait just does its own thing.”
Scatter Rap Shads cover the 5- to 8-foot depth range. “I like to fish a lot of shallow water for walleyes, especially on rock lakes,” Lindner says. “A lot of big walleyes can get pretty shallow — like in 4 to 8 feet of water. And that’s where these Scatter Raps are great.”
While most lipped crankbaits are designed for prolonged bottom grinding, Scatter Raps are not. “You don’t have to pound bottom with them,” Lindner says, noting that making more than occasional bottom contact with them defeats their purpose of making erratic, lateral movements.
Shadow Rap Shads come in two sizes — 2 inches and 2 3/4 inches. The smaller size runs five to seven feet deep. The larger sizes runs five to eight feet. Both sizes troll best between 2 and 4 mph, feature two VMC black-nickel treble hooks, run silently, float when paused and come in 16 paint patterns.
Including five Custom HD finishes: Live Bluegill, Live Smallmouth Bass, Live Pumpkinseed, Live River Shad and Live Largemouth Bass. Each HD finish features ultra-realistic color and scale details printed on classic Rapala foil. “These finishes look as live as can be, perfectly mimicking real-live forage,” Lindner says.
Scatter Rap® Shad Deep
The Scatter Rap Shad Deep brings evasive action to strike zones in 9 to 12 feet on a cast, and a bit deeper when trolled.
“We’ve been doing really good on this thing for smallmouth bass and walleyes,” Lindner says. “You gotta have a couple of them in your tackle box this year.”
The Scatter Rap Shad Deep joins the Scatter Rap Crank Deep in covering the 9- to 12-foot portion of the water column. Lindner relies on Scatter Rap Shad Deeps, he says, “in clear-water conditions where fish will come in and look at a bait and follow it for awhile.”
Measuring 2 3/4 inches and weighing 1/4 an ounce, Scatter Rap Shad Deeps feature two No. 6 VMC black-nickel treble hooks. They run silently, float when paused and come in 16 paint patterns.
Learn more from Lindner about the Scatter Rap Shad Deep in this video.
Scatter Rap® Minnow
No serious walleye angler launches his boat without several sizes and colors of minnow-shape baits, Lindner says. That’s because walleyes “love ‘em throughout the season, on every body of water we fish,” he explains.
The Scatter Rap Minnow combines an erratic, side-to-side sweeping action to a classic minnow-shape wobble. “That makes fish bite,” Lindner says. And without much effort too. “You don’t have to do anything but reel the bait,” he explains.
If you’re catching big numbers but smaller sizes on other models of Scatter Raps, upgrade to a Scatter Rap Minnow. The bigger bait will often yield bigger fish.
Scatter Rap Minnows measure four and 3/8 inches long, weigh 3/16th of an ounce, run six to nine feet deep, troll best from 2 to 4 1/2 mph, come armed with three No. 6 VMC black-nickel treble hooks and are available in four Custom HD patterns — Live Smelt, Live Walleye, Live Rainbow Trout and Live Pike — and 16 paint patterns.
Learn more from Lindner about Scatter Rap Minnows in this video.
Scatter Rap® Jointed
The newest addition to the Scatter Rap line, which Lindner says “works great for walleyes,” is the Scatter Rap Jointed. Its broken-back style allows for even more action than a regular Scatter Rap — and at slower retrieve speeds — making it perfect for after cold fronts, when fish are traditionally finicky and in a negative feeding mood.
Built on a classic, articulated Rapala Jointed Minnow balsa body, the Scatter Rap Jointed swims like an injured minnow beating a fleet retreat. That action, unlike anything fish have seen in a bait before, is what triggers strikes from otherwise uninterested or hesitant fish.
“It’s incredible what this bait is capable of doing,” Lindner says.
Scatter Rap Jointeds measure three and 1/2 inches long, weigh 1/4th of an ounce, run five to seven feet deep, troll best from 2 to 4 1/2 mph, come armed with two No. 6 VMC black-nickel treble hooks and are available in 16 paint patterns.
See a Scatter Rap Jointed Shad in action underwater in this video.
Scatter Rap® Tail Dancer
Although the Rapala Tail Dancer has long been Smith’s “go-to” bait for catching walleyes while trolling in open water, the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer has been a “phenomenal” upgrade. “You see the thing in the water and you’re mesmerized — and so are the fish,” he says.
Combining the wild, wide-tail action of a banana-shaped, balsa body with the erratic action a Scatter Lip imparts, Rapala’s Scatter Rap Tail Dancer is the ultimate deep-diving multi-species trolling lure.
“When you’re fishing suspended fish, you don’t have to worry about making a lot of S turns and all of that stuff,” Smith explains. “It certainly helps, but with the Scatter Rap bill, an evasive, erratic action is built right into the bait. It will shoot a little bit right, it’ll go back to the left, and then come back to center.”
Featuring a tapered tail, internal rattle and two No. 4 VMC black-nickel, round-bend hooks, the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer runs 11 to 19 feet, depending on line size and boat speed when trolling.
“Not only is this a tremendous tool for catching walleyes in open water, you can also cast it,” Smith says. “The bait will get down almost 20 feet on a troll and probably 10, 11 feet on a cast.”
Measuring 3 1/2 inches and weighing 7/16th of an ounce, the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer is available in 16 color patterns.
Learn more from Smith about the Scatter Rap Tail Dancer in this video.